Friday, June 6, 2008

Accordance, Logos, and BibleWorks7 - Contents comparison

I see that with the release of their new version 8, Accordance has updated their Scholar's Collections bundles. These are the kind of packages using original language tools that I suggest my students to consider. So, take a look at the listing of resources on this page. Consider first their Scholar's Collection 7.4 Core Bundle. Priced at $250, it is going head to head directly with BibleWorks7 ($250 is the group discount price) and with Logos Original Languages Library ($250 is the academic purchase price). I am just looking at the contents here, so my comments are not reflecting on the interface, speed, intuitiveness, and special functions (like the INFER engine noted in the previous post). Since I don't actually have the Accordance program, I may be missing something not listed. (If Accordance wants to send me the program...) I'm also thinking primarily in terms of texts that I would like our seminary students to have, including:

  • a variety of English Bible translations (ranging from a literal translation like the NASB to a balanced translation like the NRSV or T/NIV to a dynamic one like TEV or CEV or Message)
  • the NET Bible with notes
  • original language biblical texts with reliable lexicons
  • some extra features like maps and Pseudepigrapha and Apostolic Fathers and Philo/Jospehus.
So, as I look at the Accordance bundle in comparison to BW7 and Logos, I see:

Pros:
  • NET Bible with notes
  • Acceptable Hebrew lexicons (BDB and TWOT)
  • Nice selection of Parallel texts resources
  • A $30 unlock credit (which will get you one more English Bible)
Cons (and remember, I'm simply considering value of contents in relation to BW7 and Logos):
  • The only English versions supplied are ASV, KJV, and NET with notes
    - Logos provides 9 including NRSV, NASB, KJV, NET with notes, and ESV
    - BW7 has 38 English versions which includes all the ones you want except any of the more 'dynamic' versions like TEV, CEV, or Message (and they also include a ton of non-English Bibles)
  • No Septuagint
    - Logos and BW7 both have morphologically tagged versions and BW7 includes the Brenton English translation
  • Best Greek lexicons are the Louw-Nida (this is good) and UBS (which basically just provides glosses)
    - Logos is okay here, and does provide Louw-Nida, TDNT, Lust's Lexicon of the LXX, and the intermediate Liddell-Scott
    - BW7 includes Louw-Nida, UBS, Lust's, intermediate Liddell-Scott, Friberg's Analytical Lexicon (very good) and The Shorter Lexicon of the GNT (based on BDAG; also quite helpful)
  • No Philo, Josephus, Pseudepigrapha, or Apostolic Fathers
    - Logos includes Josephus in English; Charles' OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in English
    - BW7 has fully tagged Philo and Josephus in Greek plus English; Charles' OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in English; Apostolic Fathers w/ fully tagged Greek plus English
  • No maps (the Bible Atlas is an $89 add on)
    - Logos has no maps in the OL Library
    - BW7 adds a mapping module that is highly customizable
Other notable inclusions with Logos Original Languages Library are multiple Greek NT morphological texts, a number of Hebrew/Greek-English interlinears, Comfort/Barrett's The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text, a number of other Hebrew and Greek grammar resources, Metzger's Textual Commentary on the NT, Syriac Peshitta NT with English, Targums, Nag Hammadi Library in English, Lexham Syntactic Greek NT, OpenText.org Greek NT

Other notable inclusions with BW7 are multiple Greek NT morphological texts, CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text, a number of other Hebrew and Greek grammar resources, Archer-Chirichigno OT Quotations in the NT, Metzger's Textual Commentary on the NT, Syriac Peshitta NT with English, Targums
BOTTOM LINE:
From a superficial standpoint of content, it certainly appears that you got many more rather essential texts in Logos and BW7 than you do in Accordance, and adding books in Acccordance can become costly very quickly.


Accordance does offer the whole Scholar's Collection unlocked for... $2500! You get a lot of excellent texts: NETSeptuagint; DSSBible; LXX/Philo/Josephus/Apostolic Fathers/Pseudepigrapha in Greek/English; Wallace's Grammar; L&S/Lust's/TDNT lexicons; Mishnah, Targums, DSS, Peshitta; Metzger's Commentary; and more, BUT you still don't get any extra English Bibles or maps.

This whole version could be compared to the Logos Gold Library which is $830 (academic pricing). The list of works is long... BibleWorks really doesn't offer upgraded libraries, but you can add on modules.

As the only original languages Bible software for the Mac (Logos is still only in alpha release), Accordance is really the only choice for Mac users. (A number of people are running BW7 or Logos under Windows emulation, however.) My students who use Accordance love it, and that is, of course, worth something. From the perspective of a PC guy, however, Accordance looks to be quite expensive for what you get. Still, if I haven't mentioned it before, if Accordance wants to send me the program to review, I'll be happy to accept it!

Okay, am I missing any critical contents? Is there a discount place to obtain Accordance one should know about? Let us know!

UPDATE 2008.06.07: Be sure to read the comment by David Lang. The very latest Accordance blog post talked about the new Scholar's bundles and linked to the page I referenced, so that was the basis for my making the comparison. But, duh, it does say Scholars Collection 7.4, not 8.0. I did find this page that provides a table of the Scholars8 Library, but it doesn't look too different in terms of what's included. Second, I had looked all over the Accordance site for discount information and could not find any, so I'm glad David clarified that there are discounts available. For my seminary students, I'm still mainly looking at what they can get in that $250-350 range, so I will indeed check again when Accordance has their web site completely updated with the version 8 packages. (Of course, did I mention they could send me one to review? Actually, and this is a memo to the Accordance sales department, I have had great difficulty figuring out what to recommend to my students working from their web site. I find the purchasing of individual volumes to add up quickly and the overlapping of libraries/bundles/modules to be rather confusing.)
Also in the comments, Mike is indeed correct that only Logos offers the full Kittel TDNT. It is just the "Little Kittel" in Accordance and BibleWorks. (The full Kittel is indeed an invaluable reference work, but it does have its flaws.)
Stay tuned for more updates when Accordance updates their site.

UPDATE 2008.06.09: Accordance has, as promised, updated their web site over the weekend.
Accordance offers an Introductory, Standard, and Premier level. Here is the link to the $249 (before discounts; it also includes two $30 unlocks) Scholar's 8 Standard Level. In terms of content only, I think my earlier comments are still accurate. As I look at their comparison table, I might encourage my students to buy the $149 Introductory level (before discounts; includes one $30 unlock) and then add on other needed resources.

I'm putting together a list of what I think my students should have, at least to start out, and I'll post it on this blog when it is ready.

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